Panfish, trout, walleye biting

IRON MOUNTAIN – Anglers are finding fishing success, landing panfish, walleye and trout as summer patterns began to take hold.

“There’s more people happy than there aren’t,” said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township. “There’s been good perch fishing in the Spread Eagle chain and lots of good reports on trout again.”

At The Sport Shop in Iron River, Don Ciochetto said walleye fishing has been steady. “It’s been a good year for walleye and continues to be,” he said. Bluegill catches have been plentiful, although they may soon be off their beds, Ciochetto said. “Trout fishing has picked up,” he continued. “It’s been pretty nice going the past week.”

Bob Kennard of Midtown Bait and Tackle in Channing say Eddie Lake has excellent crappie fishing and is producing bass as well. Sawyer Lake has been the hot spot for bluegills and walleye fishing has been getting better on the Michigamme Reservoir.

“We’re selling lots of crawlers, leeches and sucker minnows,” Kennard said. In southern Marquette County, Witch Lake (bass), Squaw Lake and Horseshoe Lake have all been popular destinations.

In northern Wisconsin, panfish have provided the most consistent success with good catches of bluegill, crappie and perch still being made, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said.

Musky fishing has continued to slowly improve, with more fish showing up along and in the weed beds, with surface baits getting more and more action. Bass fishing has been generally good, with largemouth providing better action than smallmouth. Walleye action has been relatively steady with most anglers finding fish along the deep weed edges and the deeper rock humps, with leeches and crawlers being the preferred bait.

Water temperatures on Green Bay have finally reached the mid 70s. Anglers continue to report good smallmouth bass action and perch activity was picking up at a number of location. Trout and chinook salmon fishing has been steadily improving on the east side of Door County peninsula.

In the woods, black raspberries or black caps and mulberries are ripening, and red raspberries and blackberries are setting fruit.

The Michigan DNR reported the following fishing conditions across the Upper Peninsula:

Keweenaw Bay: The fish bite for most of the week was up and down but steady. Anglers harvested a fair number of Chinook with some coho and lake trout. Anglers are now trolling in 20 to 120 feet of water 15 to 90 feet down from the head of the bay northward to Carla’s Restaurant at speeds of 1.9 to 2.5 mph. Some anglers put in at Traverse Bay Marina trolling in depths of 130 to 180 feet of water using a variety of spoons and colors. The lake trout bite was slow here. Anglers who were jigging off of Big Louie’s Point in waters from 150 to 260 feet down took some limits of lake trout.

South Portage Entry: Anglers fishing waters from the lighthouse southward along the 41 shoreline to the Red Rocks picked up a mix of chinook, lake trout and rainbow. Anglers were trolling in waters from 30 to 60 feet deep 25 to 55 feet down at speeds of 1.8 to 2.3 mph. The fish bite was up and down during the week here also. Anglers are also picking up lake trout trolling in water from 60 to 120 feet deep at Farmers, Newton’s and Big Reefs. A variety of spoons and colors were used.

Lake Antoine: Bass anglers are catching good numbers and good-sized smallmouth bass along with a few largemouth bass casting crank baits or drifting crawlers in the lily pads and tall grass. Panfish anglers are catching a good number of yellow perch, black crappies, bluegill and rock bass with some keepers. Anglers are catching a lot more in the smaller class mainly jigging, drifting or still-fishing with crawlers.

Marquette: Surface water temperatures have warmed into the mid to upper 40’s near the river. A few boats have ventured out to Stannard Rock with good results in limiting out with lake trout jigging off the reef in 100 feet of water on the edges. Lake trout anglers in the Marquette area have been doing fair with some slow days depending on winds. Best areas have been about three miles east of Marquette near the Sand Hole and Sand River area near Shot Point. Shore anglers at the Carp River report slow action with a few steelhead reported casting with assorted spoons and cleos.

Little Bay De Noc: The best walleye fishing was in the southern bay from Breezy Point south to Nosee-um Creek. Anglers trolled or drifted crawlers w/harnesses in four to 14 feet of water. Many limits of fish were reported. The Escanaba River reported fair catches using the same in 10 to 20 feet of water. “Black Bottom” area also reported fair catches using crawlers or cranks in 10 to 28 feet of water. Kipling area reported fair perch catches using minnows or crawlers in 14 to 26 of water. Anglers also reported drum catches throughout the Bay. No salmon reports.

Big Bay De Noc: Both walleye and smallmouth bass catches slowed here this week. The walleye are moving south although catches were reported in the “Boot” area, Kates Bay and south to Garden Bluff. Best catches were in 16 to 20 feet of water trolling crawlers w/harnesses. Northern pike were active this week with Ansell’s Point area and into Garden Bay being the best area. Most trolled cranks, spinners or spoons in eight to 12 feet of water. Most smallmouth anglers reported fish at various depths from four to 16 feet of water with Porcupine Point, Kate’s Bay and Puffy Bay being best using spinners, jigs w/crawlers or cranks. Fairport anglers reported a few catches this week as the water slowly begins to warm up. Best catches were in 120 feet of water with meat rigs or tricolors working best.

Au Train: Surface water temperatures have finally warmed into the upper 40’s near shore. Offshore surface temps remain in the mid 40’s. Anglers this past week had mixed results with local anglers frustrated as the bite was slow, however some anglers still did well catching close to limit of lake trout with a few coho, Chinook and steelhead as part of their catch. Most anglers are having best luck with downriggers although a few lake trout have been caught off bottom using dipsy divers. Spoons have been best choice with chartreuse and orange colors doing well. Productive areas for fishing have been east and north of AuTrain Island in close to 200 feet of water along with the Shelter Bay flats fishing near Laughing Whitefish Point. Other productive areas have been Wood Island Reef.

St. Mary’s River: Walleye have been slow in and around Lime Island of Raber Bay. The walleye bite has been slow all week due to cold water temperatures. A few under size fish have been caught and released, including undersize pike and smallmouth bass. Anglers have been watching for the July fly hatch in order to start fishing for lake herring. A few mild hatches have been reported in the Raber area, but no heavy hatches yet.